Leaves of Absence for Victims of Domestic Violence

Employers may not "discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or a victim of sexual assault for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to:

  • a temporary restraining order,
  • restraining order,
  • or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim or his or her child," Cal. Labor Code § 230(c)
  • seeking "medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault."
  • obtaining "services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault."
  • obtaining "psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence or sexual assault."
  • participating "in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence or sexual assault, including temporary or permanent relocation." Cal. Labor Code § 230.1.

Violence in the home can be terribly tragic. The first defense against it is to be aware of when it is occurring. Domestic violence is defined by the California Family Code as abuse perpetrated against any of the following persons:

  • "A spouse or former spouse"
  • "A cohabitant or former cohabitant"
  • "A person with whom the respondent is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship"
  • "A person with whom the respondent has had a child, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child of the female parent under the Uniform Parentage Act."
  • "A child of a party or a child who is the subject of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child to be protected."
  • Any other person related by blood or marriage within the second degree. Cal. Fam. Code § 6211.

To receive this leave the employee "shall give the employer reasonable advance notice of the employee's intention to take time off" unless it is not possible to give advanced notice. Cal. Labor Code § 230.1. Often, employees needing such leave may not realize it until the need has become imminent, in which case failure to provide advanced notice may not be a detriment to your case.

In addition, a person suffering from domestic violence often feels very traumatized and sometimes quite ashamed or embarrassed of his or her situation. Thus, the employer must keep the confidentiality of any employee who requests this form of leave. Cal. Labor Code § 230.1.

Contact Us

If you have not been granted a leave due to domestic violence you have experienced, or if you have experienced negative treatment or termination from having taken a leave at your workplace due to domestic violence, or if your confidential information was mishandled at the workplace by a coworker or employer, contact the top domestic violence leave attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.